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Africa invested US$3.6bn in renewable energy in 2011

Total investments in renewable energy in Africa rose from US$750m in 2004 to US$3.6bn in 2011, according to Evelyn Oputu, MD of Nigeria’s Bank of Industry. For comparison, worldwide investment in the sector increased from US$44bn in 2004 to US$211bn in 2011.

And growth is expected to continue in the run-up to 2002. According to a Frost & Sullivan report entitled “Mega Trends in Africa: A bright vision for the growing continent,” investment in renewable power in Africa is expected to grow to US$57bn by 2020, an enormous 1583% increase. According to the document, “The key growth sectors will be wind power, solar power, geothermal power and foreign direct investment (FDI) into energy and power infrastructure.” It attributes the region’s huge supply shortage, its remote communities and an abundance of renewable power potential as key drivers to this demand.

The continent has several projects underway, including wind power projects in Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Tunisia and Tanzania while countries such as Cameroon and Uganda all have existing or plan further biomass capacity. In addition, South Africa plans a 5000MW solar park in Upington while North Africa’s Desertec is the largest solar power project ever conceived.

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